BRAZIL – Darling Ingredients, a US developer and producer of sustainable natural ingredients from edible and inedible bio-nutrients, is eyeing to boost the production of collagen made from grass-fed cattle with the acquisition of a global manufacturer of gelatin and collagen peptides, Gelnex.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, which is set to be closed in the first quarter of 2023 and is subject to customary regulatory approvals, Darling will acquire all of the shares of Gelnex for approximately US$1.2billion in cash.

Headquartered in Brazil with five facilities in South America and one in the United States, Gelnex can produce 46,000 metric tons of collagen products annually, which it exports to more than 60 countries around the world, and employs about 1,200 employees.

Chairman and CEO Randall Stuewe said: “Driven by strong demand for collagen products in the global health and nutrition market, we anticipate the collagen peptides market to double in the next five years…

“This acquisition will allow Darling to continue to grow its presence in the health and nutrition market and increases our production capacity for grass-fed bovine collagen in South America to help meet the future demand of our collagen customers worldwide.”

With 11 state-of-the-art facilities on four continents around the world, Darling is the largest publicly traded company turning edible by-products and food waste into sustainable products and a leading producer of renewable energy.

The company operates more than 250 plants in 17 countries and repurposes approximately 15 percent of the world’s meat industry waste streams into value-added products, such as green energy, renewable diesel, collagen (products made from bovine, porcine and fish sources), fertilizer, animal proteins, and meals and pet food ingredients.

Mr. Stuewe explained that Collagen is the most abundant protein naturally found in the body, and it plays an increasing role in the health and nutrition market by consumers seeking benefits to their hair, nails, skin, joints, bones, and muscles.

He noted collagen products can be used in a broad range of applications, including powder blends, capsules, tablets, nutritional bars, drinks, dairy, confectionery, and more.

Nowadays, collagen has become a demanding ingredient in the development of healthy food. collagen injections are not a preference for most people, the next best alternative to gain collagen is by applying protein dietary supplements, carriers, food additives, edible film, and coatings.

The rapid growth in the use of collagen in various industries such as food and healthcare is the major driving force helping the global collagen market to grow.

According to Precedence Research Firm, the global collagen market size was estimated at US$ 9.75 billion in 2021 and it is projected to hit around US$20 billion by 2030, poised to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.31% during the forecast period 2022 to 2030.

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